Friday, February 5, 2016


Kelly Husted challenged me to this 1,2,3,4,5 blogger challenge.  You can read his blog here.  He obviously has a higher opinion of my writing than my writing deserves.  I hope I live up to his (and yours) expectation……
 What has been your ONE biggest struggle during this school year?
My biggest struggle was not to scream and throw things at our Political leaders this year.  Anyone else almost throw up at the CCOSA legislative conference this January when the politicians on the panel started talking about how tough their year was going to be because of the budget!  I was fighting mad.  Are you serious…… they created this cluster (fill in the blank) in the first place with terrible economic policies and reductions to general fund revenue streams.  State agencies just found out about a revenue failure, and I didn’t sleep for a week wondering which of the families I was going to devastate by telling them they no longer had a job right when all the Christmas bills were due - AND they wanted to complain about their job being difficult!  You have got to be kidding me!  Then my secretary did a wonderful job removing all the usual suspects of things I could throw in my office when I heard the Governor’s State of the State Address.  I just want to ask her what she has against locally elected school board members because any consolidation bill will do nothing but get rid of the local board of education, not the people working for the school!   Geez.  Then she wants to take more of our already ‘spread too thin’ tax dollars to send to private schools who don’t have any state accountability!  Standards….. they don’t use Oklahoma standards……. Seat time………. Nope, they don’t have to meet time criteria to get to those tax dollars…….tests………. kids don’t take them.  Private schools do not have to prove they do anything with the tax dollars given to them by the state.  I almost understand what the now infamous pharma company thug Martin Shkreli meant when he tweeted “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people”!  
I’m getting all worked up just typing this.  This has become insane.

Share TWO accomplishments that you are proud of from this school year.
  1.  I’m proud of the $18.7 million dollar bond project approved by the stakeholders of the Alex school district.  We are currently drawing up plans to create a new 5 – 12th grade center to replace our 97 year old high school building.  Alex students will also be gaining a new track around a new football field and a monolithic dome Gymnasium to act as an Auditorium and to serve as a community storm shelter.  If anyone thinks that public schools are failing, they should check the record for bond issues in this state.  By the way, our community voted for this 10% tax increase with a whopping 80% approval rate. 
  2. I’m also proud that the Board of Education sought to show our teachers some much needed appreciation this school year by distributing $1,000.00 retention bonuses at the beginning of the school year.  On the first day of inservice, each returning staff member found a $1,000.00 check attached to the 2015-2016 contract.  I’ve got to be honest, I had tears of joy running down my face as I saw the impact on the staff.  I’m so proud to work for this district; Alex community cares so much about the wellbeing and the educational accomplishments of their students and teachers.  Our staff is like a family.  For the life of me, I can’t understand why any legislator would want to close this type of environment; we should be trying to spread it around not kill it due to some stupid political rhetoric.
What are THREE things you wish to accomplish before the end of the school year?
  1. I want to make it to the end of the school year without having to cut a person or a program from my district.
  2. I want to make coming to work at Alex a more enjoyable endeavor for my staff and our students.
  3. I want to hear the Republican Leadership & Governor admit that their economic policies and the budget was a complete disaster for Oklahomans this year.
        Give FOUR reasons why you remain in education in today’s rough culture.
  1. To be honest, I have come too far to start over in another state!  I’ve got 18 years in with another 15 to go before I can even dream of retiring……..
  2. My mom is a retired teacher living alone, and I don’t want to be too far away…….
  3. I’m a Republican Educator, and we might become extinct if I leave the state.
  4. I just love the fact that I am part of what they call the Oklahoma standard.
      Which FIVE people do you hope will take the challenge of answering these questions?
  1. Claudia Swisher – Isn’t she Amazing?
  2. Rick Cobb – One of the most influential bloggers out there.
  3.  Joy Hofmeister – I know she is super busy saving the #oklaed world, but wouldn’t it be awesome to read things from her perspective!
  4. Rob Miller – He writes one every day, just helping him with a new topic……
  5. Any one of the legislators who want to go on record with their thoughts on #oklaed……..

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Logic Loopholes

Does anyone remember the Arsenio Hall Show from the 90’s?  He used to do a segment on his late night talk show called “Things that make you say hmmmmm”.  So here goes some random thoughts and questions regarding our current educational situation:  

  • Why is it that Oklahoma politicians insist on reducing the income tax rate so as to remain competitive with surrounding states, but they don’t seem to want to remain competitive with surrounding states on teacher salaries and educational investment?
  • Why is our Governor remaining absolutely silent on the current financial crisis? 
  • The Governor and the DOK want everyone to believe a low personal and a low corporate tax rate was the cause for General Electric to move their corporate headquarters from Connecticut to Boston Massachusetts. If this is true, then why didn’t GE move to Oklahoma?  Oklahoma’s personal income tax rate is lower than both of those states (, and in Oklahoma GE could have qualified for a 5 year tax free exemption?  If not Oklahoma, then why not any one of the 7 states with zero personal income tax?
  • Why does the Governor automatically discount the quality of schools in Massachusetts as a reason for why GE moved its corporate headquarters?
  • Why is it that proponents of school choice think the only way to get people to choose better schools is to give them money, but they think that giving schools money is the worst way to improve a school?
  • Why is it that some politicians want close schools based on the number of students instead of the quality of education inside those schools?
  • Why is it that some politicians want to close rural schools but expand charter schools?
  • Why is it that politicians lament about “off the top” money and tax incentives being problematic for Oklahoma but have yet to vote to stop “off the top” money or end any tax incentives?
  • If Educational Savings Accounts (AKA Vouchers) are so important to the expansion of school choice options and the improvement of educational opportunities for low income students, then why won’t politicians find a funding mechanism outside of stealing money from public schools to pay for it?
  • Speaking of ESA’s (it’s still a voucher), why is it politicians feel the need to change the name to make it sound better for Oklahomans?  If people didn’t want to spend public dollars on private schools who do not have to follow public accountability practices when they were called a voucher, why do politicians think calling them an ESA makes for better policy?
  • If a private school doesn’t have to follow Oklahoma public school law, then what makes people think private schools will accept public school kids?
Things that make me go hmmmmmm….how about you?